Monsignor Pace High School
This is Greg Shaw, who was the last commitment to the 2008 signing class, committing on National Signing Day back in February. I think he is a solid player, perhaps the most complete offensive lineman in our signing class, and one who should be ready to play relatively quickly compared to the other linemen.
I've kind of gotten a little ahead of myself on all of these offensive linemen (we're almost done with them, thankfully). It would help if I would go over what I look for when I evaluate offensive linemen. Admittedly, I am an amateur at it, and a coach reading this might find it hopelessly oversimplified, but here's what I look for:
- Strength at the point of the attack. Can he drive a defender away from the line of scrimmage when he is lined up against a defensive lineman and he's trying to open up a hole for his runner?
- Pass blocking. Can he use a combination of strength and finesse to keep the rushers off his quarterback?
- Blocking at the second level? On screens, pulls, or traps, can he get out in front of a ball carrier, catch a linebacker, safety, or corner, and keep him from making the tackle? This requires quickness and athleticism.
- Quickness off the snap. How long does it take him, once the ball is snapped, to get involved in the play? An offensive lineman who is slow off the ball is doomed.
Some of our previous profilees did not have film showing them pass blocking. Clay Spencer's didn't have film showing him getting out ahead of runners on screens or sweeps. Their high schools apparently did not run sophisticated offenses. Greg Shaw is not like that at all. His film from Monsignor Pace shows him doing everything. He blocks at the point of attack, he pass blocks. He gets out ahead of runners. Where Spencer and Lonergan are mysteries to an extent, Shaw really isn't.
If I had to point to a weakness in Shaw's game, it appears to my untrained eye that he plays awfully high, and that reduces his strength at the point of attack. He'll have to learn to keep his shoulders low, or he will lose leverage on power running plays. I hope that's something easy to teach.
If he has another weakness, it is probably that he will have to add about 50 pounds to that 6'5" frame. And he'll have to do it without sacrificing quickness. This is one of the bugbears of evaluating and recruiting offensive linemen. More so than any other type of player, offensive linemen come into college needing to change their bodies to upgrade their strength, and you just never know how that will affect their quickness. If they can do it without sacrificing quickness, you may have an All-Conference or All-American on your hands. If the quickness decreases significantly with added muscle, you probably have a career backup on your hands.
That is, I think, what we have with Greg Shaw. I think he's a very solid recruit, but there's just no telling how he will develop. If he develops as hoped, he'll probably be the heir apparent to Jarvis Jones at left tackle (who is himself the heir apparent to Ciron Black).